With political communication becoming increasingly mediated and the UK free and independent press in rapid decline, we wanted to understand what the UK’s experience of political events means for democracy and the future of our democratic institutions.
Using an ethnographic approach, our research aims to deepen our understanding of how people experience the different stages of a General Election, from inception to conclusion, in context.
Our findings were extensive in depth and breadth, offering us insights into the mainstream media’s contribution to the rise of populism, and the steps needed to break the echo chambers that drive social media users to increasingly extreme viewpoints.
To bolster the weakened checks and balances, we explore alternative media models, content focus and format, and propose a repositioning of the role of public broadcasters so that they remain relevant in today's populist climate, providing implications, for the UK but also for democracies around the world.
We continue to seek opportunities to inform the public and inspire change amongst the UK free press by sharing our findings via talks and conferences. Recently, we distilled our insights into a set of design tools to assist BBC teams with decision making processes across design and content development.
Siobhán Curtis (she/her)
Design Research Practice Lead
Siobhán is the Design Research Practice Lead at Modern Human with extensive experience conducting and managing research. She reappraises problems and identifies fresh insights to help create innovative and meaningful experiences across a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail and financial services. She encourages our research teams to reappraise problems and identify fresh insights to drive innovative and meaningful experiences across a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail and financial services. Extensive experience of international research has enabled Siobhan to appreciate the subtleties and challenges of insight interpretation.